The desert was calm. The sun slowly raised over the distant butte, warming my face from the chilly morning. Indian Creek was waking up, and I was beyond excited to start climbing. Our start-of-the-day, unfortunately, began searching for the rest of our party we were to meet up with the night before. Without them, there was to be no climbing. We searched all morning, leaving traces on message boards strewn across the area, hoping to communicate our location. My excitement turned to frustration and back to excitement, when miraculously our driver spotted our lost party's truck and sped after them. It was like a scene out of a James Bond movie. We passed several cars before we got close enough to nearly rear-ending our friends. After what seemed to be a minute of honking, flashing and hollering out the window, they finally realized it was us. A sigh of relief came over us all; we were finally gonna get to climb.
Sleeping in at our desert camp. Indian Creek, Utah. The approach to Way Rambo. Indian Creek, Utah. Jordan Gans sorting gear at the base of Technicolor (5.11+). Indian Creek, Utah. Erik Nordstrom taping up at the base of Technicolor (5.11+). Indian Creek, Utah.
Once at the wall, we were able to forget all about the crazy morning. It was all about climbing now. Everyone focused their attention to the preparation of crack climbing: Sorting gear, taping hands, mentally psyching each other up. It was time to forget all our worries and just climb.
Erik Nordstrom sending "On the Up and Up" (5.10+). Indian Creek, Utah. Sam Finco leading "Way Rambo" (5.12-). Indian Creek, Utah.
Reuben Cousin leading "On the Up and Up" (5.10+). Indian Creek, Utah. Erik Nordstrom leading "On the Up and Up" (5.10+) overlooking the dirt road. Indian Creek, Utah.
I quickly learned that crack climbing is a very different sport than face climbing. I had a friend describe it once like this: Insert hand, break wrist. Insert foot, brake ankle. As I learned the technique, I couldn't help but laugh; that's pretty much exactly what it feels like. So why do people do it? I'm not sure I can explain it, but I know I kept wanting more. There's a feeling, much like the feeling I had when I started climbing a year ago, when you are hanging on a wall that you shouldn't be hanging from, and you realize you got there under your own strength and ability. That's an incredible feeling.
Jordan Gans uses his first-aid kit after a painful try of an unknown 5.12 finger crack at Technicolor Wall. Indian Creek, Utah. Sam Finco leading "Way Rambo" (5.12-). Indian Creek, Utah. Erik Nordstrom placing gear on "On the Up and Up" (5.10+). Indian Creek, Utah. Sam Finco nearing one of the cruxes on "Way Rambo" (5.12-). Indian Creek, Utah. Reuben Cousin placing gear on "On the Up and Up" (5.10+). Indian Creek, Utah. Sam Finco takes a rest to get some chalk on "Way Rambo" (5.12-). Indian Creek, Utah.
By the end of the weekend, with new stories to tell and battle wounds to show off, we reluctantly left The Creek. I now see why so many climbers flock to this area. It seems to beckon, as if to say, "Try me". It all depends on if you're up for the challenge.
Around the campfire. Indian Creek, Utah.
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